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A recent survey by Neilson in association with Pampers reveals-
88% moms agree that their husbands hesitate in changing diapers.
“I will wake up the nights and let you have a perfect sound sleep even in my office days, can you please change the diapers?”
That was the deal my husband tried to strike with me when we were expecting for the first time. But the moment our daughter was born, he was doing it all. I never had to nudge him. Of course he had troubles setting up the diapers right. Sometimes it would be lose, sometimes too tight. He would often use over ten wipes to clean the poop- one wipe per centimetre of the skin (and there would still be a little spec left). But gradually he mastered the diapering skill. Now with our second daughter, he just goes zip zap zoom and it’s done.
A newborn only feeds, sleeps, pees, poops, repeat. Out of these only the feeding part is something that only the mother can do (if the child is exclusively breastfed). So here comes another revelation from the same survey-
88% dads believe that the baby chores primarily need only the mom’s involvement.
Well, thankfully my husband falls in the 12%. Apart from diapers, he puts our kids to sleep, plays with them, and looks after them when they are asleep, as much as I do. That leaves only a single job that is exclusively mine- breastfeeding. But he has figured out a way of helping there too- he burps the baby after I feed (which is a 10 minutes task at times).
Many people who visit us, often feel shocked when they see my husband doing every single thing for the kids. They also ask him how he manages to spend so much energy on them after a full day at office. He responds just with a smile.
That brings us to another statistic from the survey-
93 % Doctors agree Father’s involvement in baby care leads to stronger development of cognitive skills in the baby
While no father does things to enhance the child’s cognitive skills per se, it’s definitely good news that his involvement does more good than the obvious.
Since the time our daughter was born, she has been as comfortable with my husband as she has been with me. Even at times when I have been away from home for a few days, they have managed well together. And I think this is because my husband can address all her needs and also shower her with all the love.
Sometimes people ask me how we have divided the work load between us. Firstly, we never see it as a load. Secondly, to be frank, I have no answer to that. We never sat and made a list of things each of us will do. And I think that is what makes this experience all the more beautiful. We do things as per the need of the situation. If I am eating and our daughter needs to use the washroom, he takes her. If he is working and she wants to use the washroom, I take her. Likewise, sometimes I feed her, sometimes he does it, sometimes I bathe her, sometimes he does it, sometimes I read to her, sometimes he does it. The only thing that he still needs to work on is- doing her hair (and he’s working on it).
Parenting is a challenge. But I think we are all born with a natural parental instinct. Most of the women discover it sooner than the men (thanks to the social set-up we have been in) but men are catching up now big time! We all learn on the job and we’re all doing a great job. Our children are the future citizens of the world and that makes it essential for us to equip them with knowledge, wisdom, love and compassion. And it’s only better if the child gets all the learnings in double quantities. It takes two to make an all-rounder!